Fixing a hole where the rain gets in

It took us a couple of years to plan our trip, to save money, gather all the goodies and map out a route. We waited for the end of financial year sales when we could buy the more expensive, lightweight and shiny stuff on the cheap. We were pretty pleased with our hoard and I thought that our gear would last the journey… I was wrong.

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On a long bicycle tour everything breaks, eventually. Luckily our bikes were pretty rock-solid for most of the journey with only small problems surfacing like flat tyres and broken shifter cables, but the rest of our gear, sadly, left a lot to be desired.

Things that we thought were battle-proven, and sworn by other cyclist to last a lifetime of abuse, didn’t stand up to the torture we dished out. Some of our stuff had manufacturing faults too. Our tent and one of our sleeping mats developed a myriad of tiny holes that we found, after much trying, couldn’t be fixed.

A lot of the time we either had to improvise and work around the problem or just replace the item with a newer and better version.

The tally…

Broken, damaged or replaced

  • 1 Pedal
  • 15 or so flat tyres
  • 1 iPhone battery
  • 6 chains (3 per bike)
  • 3 sets of bicycle computer batteries
  • 1 sleep mat
  • 1 tent pole
  • 1 tent inner
  • 1 handlebar bag
  • 1 USB charging unit
  • 1 Trangia cooking stove
  • 2 sporks
  • 2 waterproof bags
  • 1 pannier
  • Numerous bungee straps
  • 2 sets of headphones
  • 1 helmet
  • 2 mud guards

Lost

  • Trace’s jacket
  • 2 coffee makers
  • Pannier clip inserts
  • 1 pair of gloves

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My front pannier developed a hole in the bottom. I’m guessing I helped that along, what with all the kerb bashing.

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Our Trangia camp stove couldn’t handle the myriad of fuels we used and eventually the burner split. We had it repaired in Mexico but that didn’t last long.

So, the moral of this story is buy the best gear you can afford and then be prepared for it to break. Have a backup if possible and learn how to fix stuff yourself.

Happy trails 🙂

By Dave

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